Two men standing with a bicycle
Ibe Hayter, right, and Cycle of Life participant Yasser

A project that’s making a “wheel” difference

Tune into BBC iPlayer to see one of Liverpool’s incredible community projects on the small screen.

Toxteth’s Cycle of Life project was the subject of this week’s We Are England, broadcast on Monday 9 January, on BBC One, which also features a council-funded initiative.

Cycle of Life was founded by Ibe Hayter in 2020 with the aim of encouraging more people, particularly those from diverse or vulnerable groups, to get cycling alongside bicycle maintenance sessions.

In 2021, the council approached Ibe to see whether Cycle of Life could set up a course especially for unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people to give them confidence to get around their new city and to support them to learn new skills.

Ibe’s team developed a six-week course which is set to welcome its third cohort of young people next month. At the end of the course the young people receive certificates and their own bicycle at a special presentation event.

The programme features Ibe and also follows 18-year-old Yasser, who arrived in the city from Kuwait, and has taken part in the council’s initiative.

Chris Browne, acting deputy manager of the council’s unaccompanied asylum seeking children’s team, said: “As well as learning all the important skills needed for riding and maintaining a bicycle, our unaccompanied asylum-seeking children also built new friendships and networks that will help them to develop greater resilience and independence as they grow up.

“But this is no ordinary cycle programme. Ibe’s team had to address a unique range of needs, including meeting the racial, cultural and language needs of a diverse group of vulnerable young people, including translation and interpretation.

“We’re delighted that more people will hear about Cycle of Life’s great work and look forward to the third group of young people getting on their bikes next month.”

The 30-minute programme is available to watch back for a year on the iPlayer

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